Watermelon Sucks and 9 More Tidbits

A while ago, I was tagged by Jess Witkins to come up with 10 Random Facts about myself. Variations of this game have existed for years; in 2009 it was all the rage on Facebook. That being the case, you’d think I’d have this down pat. I even pulled up my FB list to see what I’d written then (there were 25 to choose from), but I’ve either already blogged about a lot of those things or they’re no longer relevant. This is why it’s taken me so long to respond to Jess’s challenge: I’ve actually had to think about this post! Sometimes, thinking is overrated. Luckily, I was able to come up with some hopefully-interesting (and definitely random) tidbits to write about. Without further ado, here are ten random facts about me, in no particular order other than descending.

10. I once predicted an earthquake. I was living in San Jose at the time, and one afternoon I had a strong feeling there would be a pretty decent-sized earthquake somewhere in northern California within the next twenty-four hours. I felt shaky, nervous, and lightheaded; the feeling was so intense that I actually announced this prediction to my coworkers. That night, there was a magnitude 6.5 quake off the California coast that caused minor damage in some of the northern coastal communities. Believe me when I say, that freaked me out. The next day at work, I had a room full of very impressed people who looked at me a little differently. Because of that experience…

9. I suspect I have borderline psychic abilities. I just don’t know how to channel or develop them. When I make a concerted effort to concentrate and focus on something – like, say, what somebody I’m talking to on the phone is wearing – I usually miss completely; it’s only when I let my mind go “blank” that I can snatch something out of thin air that turns out to be true. That happens a lot. I used to work with a woman whom I was highly in tune with. I would ask her, for instance, how badly the cut on her finger was because I’d “envisioned” she cut it the evening before while chopping vegetables, and she would stare at me in amazement, wondering how I knew that. Excellent question. Maybe it’s all just coincidence…but in my heart, I don’t believe that.

8. I can’t drink soda out of a can, and I despise plastic. I’m all about glass, baby! And it’s not just because of the environment: I think beverages taste funny when they’re served in aluminum cans or plastic bottles. When I first started dating my ex-wife, her dad always bought Coke and Sprite in glass bottles, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. Too bad they’re hard to find these days. I always pour my drinks into a glass first, unless I’m out hiking or driving and it’s just not feasible. Dear wine industry: if you ever convert to plastic bottles, I’m switching to beer.

7. I voted for George Bush Sr. in 1988. You might be thinking “so what?”, but trust me – this is something I’m embarrassed to admit. I’m a pretty liberal guy and a staunch Democrat, so why I voted Republican in the first Presidential election in which I was old enough to participate is beyond me. I guess my political ideologies were still taking shape at the age of 19. That, and Dukakis didn’t inspire me. To his credit, the elder Bush wasn’t a terrible President, and is in fact a fairly likable guy. To my credit, I’ve voted Democrat in every election since.

6. I kissed a girl for the first time when I was 6 years old. And I liked it. Her name was Julie Love (perfect, huh?) and she lived two houses down. We went up to her bedroom and made out. Kinda young, huh? I wonder how either of us knew what we were doing (but, umm, we did). A few days later, we got “married” in a pretend ceremony outdoors (though the reception was sparsely attended). I remember having crushes on girls as early as Kindergarten. I’ve just always been very attracted to the opposite sex, I guess. Even when I still played with Legos.

It looks like it's smiling at me. Taunting me, even...

5. I hate watermelon. People always think I’m kidding when I say this, but it’s true. I’ve just never developed a taste for it. It’s not for lack of trying; I pick up a slice nearly every summer, thinking this will be the year that I like it! But I never do. Maybe it’s a melon aversion – I can’t stand cantaloupe, either. I find both fruits cloyingly sweet. Oddly enough, I love Jolly Rancher watermelon flavored hard candies. Go figure. On a similar note, I hate boxing but love boxing movies. Consider that a bonus random fact.

4. I was editor of my high school newspaper…for one issue. My favorite class in 11th grade was Journalism, and I loved working for the school newspaper. I was one of the few people who took it seriously; I came up with an anti-censorship expose on Tipper Gore’s PMRC-related campaign to slap warning labels on records while other students were writing about the new vending machine on campus or Mrs. Brown’s knitting hobby. For the last issue of The Minuteman, the teacher booted the student who had been editor all year and gave me the position. I loved that. Proudest moment of my high school experience!

This was me in high school...minus the cigarette and booze. OK, minus the cigarette. (Courtesy of fanpix.net)

3. I used to dress like Sonny Crockett in high school. Yeah. White pants and everything. What can I say? I loved Miami Vice. It was my favorite 80s television show, hands down. Sadly, it took me awhile to realize that dressing like Don Johnson didn’t make me Don Johnson. Least proud moment of my high school experience!

2. I’m sort of afraid I’m going to be eaten by a bear one of these days. I love to hike. I usually hike alone. The forests around these parts are home to numerous bears. Add all of that up, and you can see why I have this fear of ending up in the digestive tract of a large and furry Ursus Americanus one of these days. I was out picking huckleberries in a remote forest a couple of years ago, and it was getting late, and I saw what I perceived to be bear tracks on the trail, and I freaked out a little. Inside, anyway. Didn’t breathe easily until I was safely back in my car. The odds are pretty good that I’ll at least spot a bear in the distance one of these days, a fact that makes me want to pick up a can of bear spray…or a gun. I’ll never stop hiking, though. I love the wilderness far too much to let the possibility of a bear attack sway me from hitting the great outdoors.

1. I’m a surprisingly optimistic person. Other than my conviction that I’m going to get eaten by a bear someday, I am a very upbeat and positive person, the quintessential glass-is-half-full personality. This surprises me. By all accounts I should be the most jaded and cynical dude on the planet. I’ve been through the wringer with my exes, have twice lost jobs through corporate downsizing, and am terribly upside down in my mortgage. Despite all this I’ve never been happier, and always believe that each new day brings a fresh start and a wealth of possibilities. More than anything, I feel that I will be happy and successful in life…mark my words. Studies show that optimistic people live longer, healthier lives. I might just make it to 100 after all.

There you have it! If you’re up to the challenge, go for it! I’d love to hear random facts about you…even if you just leave me one in a comment.


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

38 thoughts on “Watermelon Sucks and 9 More Tidbits

  1. I’ve suspected that I have some sort of 6th sense for years. Mine primarily has to do with the phone, though. I can think about someone, and then they call or text me. Very odd!

    Miami Vice, eh?


  2. #7 Talk about voting for the guy that lost, I worked at least 40 hours a week in the Goldwater campaign in 1964. We lost. Boy did we lose. Have not voted for the winner very often since then so now I write in Ralph Nader all the time. #3 I am in Miami. It is still and will always be cool to dress like Sonny Crockett.


    1. Makes you wonder how the Vietnam War would have gone had Goldwater won. Oh, well – it’s all revisionist history anyway. Are you saying you dress in white pants and loafers, Carl? That’s…awesome.


  3. You hate watermelon – Of course you should, watermelon is gritty and disgusting. You dressed like Sonny Crocket? Please tell me this was the 80’s and not for your date in Ely. If this is the case, Good on ya! If not, I am coming down for an intervention before your sweetie shows up for Date part II.


    1. LOL. Yes, I’m talking about the 80s. Not sure I was dressed in appropriate Ely style during my trip, but nobody laughed at me (to my face) so I guess I didn’t make too badly a fool of myself!

      My girlfriend and I will be in Seattle in late October. I’m thinking flannel and rain gear will be the ticket then.


  4. Mark, you are I have quite a few similarities! I’m optimistic, feel like I’m physic(with stories and events to back it up), kissed a girl AND a boy with the make out session at a young age, and I HATE watermelon too!


  5. You and Sara have in common the inability to drink from either a can or plastic. I wonder if it’s the foodie in you–i.e. an extreme sensitivity to taste?

    And I’m pretty impressed that you predicted an earthquake! You rock and roll, my friend! (I know; the pun is pretty bad, isn’t it?!)



  6. Faaaaaaaaabulous post, Mark!

    And even just from knowing you through our blogs, I can definitely tell you have psychic abilities and are very ‘in tuned’ to things. So, I’m not at all surprised you pick up on things that happen, before they happen.

    I too CANNOT drink soda from a can. It’s disgusting because you can taste the metal. Gotta drink it out of REAL glass.

    This made me howl….

    A few days later, we got “married” in a pretend ceremony outdoors (though the reception was sparsely attended).

    OMG…how cute!

    “3. I used to dress like Sonny Crockett in high school.”

    Meeee too! And even more so because I use to live in Florida, so that was WAY cool.

    And what a wonderful gift you have in being an optimistic person because it makes life so much more of an enjoyable experience. I too tend to be optimistic because to me, happiness is a state of mind. Regardless of what challenges I may have throughout the course of my life.

    Okay, let’s see, one random fact about me….

    Even though it’s suppose to be better/healthier to eat your salad AFTER your meal (like most Italians do), I always eat my salad WITH my meal.

    Yeah, I’m a rebel!

    Hope you had a super weekend, buddy!


  7. Random fact about me–I can’t go out of order in my shower. If I do, I have to just stop doing what I do and start the shower over again per se and go in the order I usually go in. I’ll redo something just to go in order.


  8. Haha…love this Mark!! So nice to know a little bit more about the man who is dating my beautiful daughter!

    Now, about the fruit thing…you and I are exact opposites. I love, love, LOVE all kinds of melons but can’t stand the candy!! If we’re ever at a BBQ…you bring the melon and I’ll bring the candy…lol

    Random fact? Hmmmm…..well….I once threw my bra up on stage during a Bon Jovi concert. I was crushed when Jon just stepped on it…lol


  9. I think I’m a bit psychic too… Not too long ago, I was driving down Colorado Blvd and saw an empty car dealership that used to belong to the husband of a woman I used to work with. The last time I saw her was in 1995… I thought about her, wondered how she was…hoped she was well… I walked into the salon three days later and there she was, looking for a job! I just about tinkled myself! Same thing happened with the owner of Bella Bella…hadn’t seen her in 10 years and was cleaning a jewelry box she had given me. A co-worker the next day gave me a message with her number on it, she said she had talked to her the day before and wanted to talk to me. Weird huh?!


  10. Various members of my family have physic abilities. I had misplaced a large mabe pearl pendant last week. Actually hadn’t seen it since I came back from my vacation. Searched the house for 2 days and still couldn’t find it.
    I asked my Father who had passed away almost two years ago to show me where it was. That was friday night. When I woke up Saturday, I though to myself Dad didn’t know because he didn’t appear to me in a dream like he does when I want to see him. I got up had my shower and started looking in the bedroom one more time. There it was in the jewellery roll where I had put it for safekeeping before vacation. But the thing is, both my husband and I had searched that jewellery roll numerous times even undoing the zipper and shaking it upside down. How did it get there ? Was it there all along and we couldn’t see it. Why didn’t it fall out when I shook it upside down. Go figure…


  11. Hmm, your psychic abilities must be what connect us. I had a lot of interesting experiences like that in high school. I had dreams about events before they happened. But it was kind of terrifying and I think I closed myself off to it. I’ll share a couple of my stories in October on my blog when the happiness project turns into the Halloween project. Stay tuned!

    Add an addendum to your glass only rule. You will drink wine out of a canteen while hiking, which may make the impending doom of a bear attack less traumatic.

    And I’m ok with watermelon, but I hate cantaloupe and honeydew. Mango is more my taste. MMmmm


    1. The Halloween Project?! The name alone inspires excitement. Can’t wait to see what you come up with, Jess!

      And I’ll drink wine out of anything. Metal canteen, plastic, paper cup, hollowed out log – you name it, I’m game!

      Definitely share your mango enthusiasm, too.


  12. What a fun post! I enjoyed Jess’ post on this the other week.

    As for me, I confess to being a female bodybuilder. Yes, I want to grow my muscles big and strong (naturally, of course.) 🙂


  13. Fun post 🙂

    I have a bit of a psychic ability as well. I’ve had dreams about things before they happen, and I seem to have a knack for knowing when someone is about to win something. When I worked at this telemarketing center of several hundred people, I remember predicting who would win random drawings and I was right a lot of the time. There was this event the other day in my office, and a raffle for the 100+ attendees. I was sitting next to this lady on the couch, I’ve never seen her before, and I just looked at her and said, “You are going to win the raffle.” She was like, “How do you know I even bought a ticket?” And I couldn’t explain it. I just knew. An hour later, she won, and just shook her head at me across the room. Strange stuff. If only I could harness this ability for my deviant means 🙂

    My random fact: I love plucking my eyebrows. I find it to be extremely relaxing and doesn’t hurt a bit. After a stressful day, there’s nothing like coming home and plucking. LOL. I’m a weirdo.


  14. I hate watermelons too… :’) finally someone who understands me
    as far as psychic abilities are concerned, I label them as co-incidence so I don’t freak people out!!! I am very sensitive to people’s emotions even when they are miles away – can tell even via chat and even if it is someone I rarely talk to whether that person is sad and what exactly is bothering him.. no wonder no one wants to go out with me because they can’t get away with lies 😉


    1. I have to admit though, a few months ago, it was National Watermelon Day. We were at a trendy bar and they had a watermelon salad that consisted of watermelon wedges rubbed with serrano peppers and topped with ricotta, cilantro, and extra virgin olive oil. I have to admit, as far as watermelon goes, that was halfway decent and the only time I haven’t gagged after eating a piece.


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